Hard Work Leads Wolverines to 3-2 Win Over Natives

Nathan Reay stopped 29 of 31 shots and the Wolverines got goals from three different players on their way to a 3-2 win over the Neepawa Natives on Wednesday night in Waywayseecappo.

The Wolverines took to the ice in the first period with speed to burn. It was all Waywayseecappo for the first ten minutes as the team got a number of quality chances in the slot, but thanks to Natives goaltender Kolby Thornton,  he did his part in putting a stop to the pressure.

Eli Lieffers took a penalty late in the period which would turn out to be costly for Neepawa. Kylar Fenton put a nice touch on his pass from the point that Brandon Lawson would redirect past a sprawling Thornton, giving the Wolverines a 1-0 lead. Jack Kennedy picked up the second assist on the scoring play.

It was all Wolverines in the first, as they outshot the Natives 19-9.

Just as Waywayseecappo capped off the period with some strong play, they started the second with the same energy.

2:10 into the second period, Riley Vautour took the puck on the right half-way and slapped one top corner past Thornton to put the Wolverines in front, 2-0. Jaymes Knee picked up his team-leading 13th assist of the year on the play, while Alex Lucken chipped in his 4th.

Just 45 seconds after Vautour increased the Wolverines lead to two, Anthony Bilka took an unsportsmanlike penalty which would lead to a powerplay goal from Neepawa.

With five minutes to go in the second, Bryce Krauter gave the Wolverines a two-goal lead with his deflection infront on a great effort. Anthony Bilka was in on the first assist, while Garrett Sandberg notched his first point as a Wolverine.

Heading into the third period, both teams settled in and got their chances. This time, it was Neepawa scoring first when Noah Carson beat Nathan Reay midway through the frame, cutting the Wolverines lead to one.

Jaymes Knee would score on a powerplay chance just after Neepawa cut into the lead, but the goal would be waved off and the game would stay at 3-2.

Neepawa would pull Thornton for the extra attacker, but the Wolverines would hold on for the 3-2 win.

The victory brings the Wolverines back to .500 with a record of 13-13-1-2. Nathan Reay would make a few key stops late in the game to secure his third win of the season in his second straight start.

Next up for Waywayseecappo is a road trip to Dauphin to take on the Kings on Friday night at 7:30.